One of the really cool things about Paris is that it offers things you simply can’t get in America. I love America. Hotels have WiFi in the rooms. Stuff is cheaper and the currency isn’t inflationary. Roads and drivers are normal. But there are no 850-year-old cathedrals. There just aren’t. The U.S. isn’t that old. The history of Paris is breathtaking, added to by the fact that you can go inside, underneath or climb up everything.
Today we toured the Cathedral of Notre Dame (See the gargoyles here: https://2weeksinparis.wordpress.com/2013/06/27/gargoyles-of-notre-dame/)
We saw the inside and climbed to the belfry, which offers a panoramic view of Paris. Notre Dame is the most incredible cathedral I’ve been inside. Walking in you are greeted by giant arches surrounding the mammoth floor, which can seat 10,000 people.
Electric candelabras light the interior, with help from stained glass that remains from the church’s construction in the 1300s. A self-guided tour takes you around the outside walls where stained glass marks small chapels dedicated to saints, including Joan of Arc.
The cathedral still holds events and masses, including a concert the day we went.
The “top” activity at Notre Dame, however, is climbing the 387 steps to the summit of the belfry. No fear of Quasimodo, but there are gargoyles and on spectacular view from the top.
In back there is a large public park with activities for kids and a nice garden.